Untouchable Darkness (The Dark Ones Saga, #2)(11)

“Not immortal,” I repeated out loud. I’d forgotten about that… barricaded the damn memory so far into my mind that I wouldn’t recall what it was like uniting myself with Cassius…

Because it was the only time in my entire existence that I’d belonged.

And it had been ripped from me the minute he chose to walk away. Granted he returned but I imagined there was more to the story, like if he didn’t help me the big bad Archangel was going to stab Cassius in the throat.

So really he had no choice.

My heart plummeted to my stomach.

“I think I’ll go lay down for a while.” My voice was weak. I didn’t look back, not even Alex called after me or even when I felt the ice start to tickle down my fingertips and lightly frost the air next to me.


MY EYES WEREN’T USED to the dull colors around me. Gray used to be my favorite color—it masqueraded as something trivial and boring when really it consisted of a million different speckles of blues, greens, blacks, and even some white, constantly changing, shifting in its color—evolving.

Now, I glanced around at the gray countertop, the gray or what some would call silver appliances.

And I was bored to tears.

And irritated that something as simple as enjoying the visions in front of me, was suddenly gone—taken from me. Humans really had no understanding of the depth of color, and now I was realizing that first hand.

Particles of dust used to float in front of my face, pieces of moisture collected into the air, ready for me to use had I needed it.

Now, I sucked in air through lungs that by my calculations would stop working around the age of seventy-eight, possibly seventy-nine; it would be something simple that would take this body.

Morose thoughts clouded my vision—making it impossible for me to really see anything but my own demise, and the very simple fact that last week I had been different, I had been better.

This week… I was facing the greatest challenge of my existence, getting Stephanie to see me as someone other than her protector, her King, a monster.

I wasn’t sure what was typical. Did I wait an hour to go fetch her? Two? Maybe three? So I sat, my ass pressed against an extremely uncomfortable chair, and imagined a simpler time when I was able to simply force my will on anyone and be done with it.

The coffee Mason had given me was cold.

The ceramic cup cheap, breakable.

I think he meant it as a joke when he gave it to me. After all, it had some silly Vampire looking character on the front of it, blood dripping from his fangs. I scowled and turned the cup to face the other direction.

“She’s upstairs,” Alex grumbled from the corner. “You know, just in case you haven’t turned into a statue. Then again with a heart that cold…”

I rolled my eyes and stood. “I’ll see to her.”

Alex moved in front of me, his cat like eyes narrowing in suspicion, his fingertips pressed against my chest, it hurt like hell, not that I was going to actually admit to the Siren that he was stronger.

Because the very thought—the idea that he could end my life, when I’d spent the better part of mine protecting his kind—it didn’t rub well. It felt all too humbling.

Damn, I hated that word.

“She’s… fragile.” He retracted his hand. “Remember.”

“She could break my finger with a flick of her wrist.” I shoved past him, ignoring the already bruising skin on my chest. “Think of it this way, if I make her angry you’ll simply have to burn my body to finish me off.”

“Ah, fire.” Alex snapped his fingers. “I always forget about the fire.”

I didn’t. I hated fire. Fire represented my future—if I couldn’t get her to fall for me, to love me, just as I was—I wouldn’t just die.

I’d be burned alive.

While Sariel most likely watched.

With a bowl of damn popcorn. Buttered.

“Just—” Alex’s sigh grated my nerves. “Be careful.”

“I’ll do that.” I had no idea how I was going to manage being careful, that word hadn’t ever really been in my vocabulary. Being careful meant I actually cared.

In all my existence I’d only cared about one person.


And now the game was twisted, altered, some of my chess pieces missing, the board falling sideways off the table.

“You’re stalling,” Alex called from behind me.

I grunted and made my way slowly up the stairs. I couldn’t smell her—there had once been a time when I’d been able to pick out her scent from across the room in a crowd. It had been all I could do to keep myself from pulling her close, from breathing deep, from kissing her deeper.

My footsteps were loud, awkward, as I made my way down the hallway to her room. I knocked.

She didn’t answer.

I didn’t expect her to.

I nudged the door open. Stephanie was sitting in front of the window, her hands placed demurely in her lap, her head cocked to the side as if she was watching something very carefully.

The beauty of Stephanie wasn’t in just her form, but the way she made you feel by simply glancing in your direction. Weakness made me crave it; my humanity demanded I stay in her presence forever, convincing me that walking away would only result in such physical and emotional pain that I wouldn’t survive it.

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